JAN. 25, 2011 -- A black rhinoceros calf was born to first-time parents, mother Kati Rain and father Ajabu, at the Saint Louis Zoo on Jan. 14, 2011. Weighing 120-1/2 pounds, the un-named male is nursing well and being cared for by his mother, according to zoo staff. Mother and calf are bonding in their off-display barn behind the scenes in River's Edge. When the weather turns warmer, they will move into their outdoor habitat. A date has not yet been set for their debut.
This is the first black rhino calf to be born at the Saint Louis Zoo in 20 years. In all, eight black rhino calves have been born at the zoo.
Kati Rain and Ajabu arrived at the Zoo's River's Edge in 2007. Kati Rain is from Sedgwick County Zoo, and Ajabu from San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Both are 6 years old.
The black rhino has experienced the most drastic decline of any rhino species. In 1970, it was thought there were about 65,000 black rhinos in Africa. By 1993, there were only 2,300 survivors in the wild. Black rhinos are heavily poached because it is thought in many Asian countries that the rhino horn has medicinal uses.
The Saint Louis Zoo's black rhinos are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Black Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to manage a genetically healthy population of black rhinos in North American zoos. Currently there are 60 black rhinos in 38 institutions.
Source: Saint Louis Zoo News Release
Photo Courtesy of Saint Louis Zoo